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Library Program Policy

Objectives of the Library

The Billerica Public Library provides library programs as part of the library’s mission, which is that “The Billerica Public Library educates, entertains, and enriches the lives of the Billerica community by providing relevant collections, inviting spaces, engaging programs, and responsive services for all.”

Responsibility for Programming

The Library Director delegates responsibility for programming to designated staff, who are directly responsible for planning, developing, selecting, booking, and overseeing the execution of programs that take place at the library, virtually, over the phone, and off-site. On occasion, the library may participate in cooperative or joint programs with other agencies, organizations, institutions, or individuals.

Programming Decisions

Designated staff consider the following criteria when developing, selecting, and booking programs:

  • Community needs and interests
  • Budget and cost of the program
  • Available funding
  • Space required for the program and space availability
  • Local, state, and federal rules, regulations, and laws, including applicable library policies
  • Presenter background/qualifications in content area
  • Feedback from other libraries/organizations where the presenter has provided programming
  • Relevance/appropriateness of the program to the library’s vision, mission, and values
  • Existing program offerings for intended audience
  • Staff time required

Anyone interested in presenting a library program or partnering with the library to provide a program may submit a proposal using our “Suggest a Program” form. The submission will be reviewed in accordance with the above criteria, provided the submission is completed fully and made at least eight weeks before the proposed program date. Final decisions on what programs are offered are made by the Library Director. Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants or speakers.

Program Funding

The majority of library programs are funded using a combination of funds provided by the Family Friends of the Billerica Public Library, the Billerica Public Library Foundation, and individual grants. Some money from these funding sources may be limited to specific purposes by the funding/awarding organization.

Program Participation

Some library programs are planned and promoted for a specific age and interest level to ensure the enjoyment of all in attendance and to provide younger patrons with programming that aligns with their specific developmental needs. Because the presenter or staff member thoughtfully determines age limits during the planning of these programs, the library will defer to and adhere to the age limit set for each program for the convenience of all.

In keeping with the library’s stated values, the library does not charge for program participation or sponsor programs specifically focused on selling products or services. For the convenience of program participants, library sponsored programs may occasionally include selling books or similar items offered to enhance the program experience.

Some library programs may require registration, while other library programs will be offered as drop-ins. For programs requiring registration, patrons may register to participate by using the library’s online registration system or by calling/visiting the library. Attendance or participation in a program may be limited due to a number of factors, including:

  • Occupancy limits for each floor and room at the library.
  • Limits requested by the presenter due to the content or nature of the program.

Request for Program Reconsideration

Billerica residents or property owners with objections to a sponsored library program may file a fully complete “Request for Program Reconsideration” form no later than two weeks before a program is scheduled. Billerica residents or property owners may only file one request at a time and must wait until their request has been decided before they can submit another request. The Director will review the program and the completed form to assess whether the program meets the decision criteria described in this policy. Programs that meet the criteria will not be canceled because of pressure from any individual or group. The decision made by the Library Director may be appealed to the Library Board of Trustees within 30 days. The Library Trustees require that all appeals be in writing.

*Parts of this policy were adapted from similar policies at the Wilmington (MA) Memorial Library, Ashland Public Library, and Groton (MA) Public Library, as well as from guidance from the American Library Association.

Adopted by a vote of the Board of Library Trustees on February 6, 2023, as amended on October 2, 2023

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